Israeli delegation heads to Qatar for World Short Course Championships.
(photo credit: ISRAEL SWIMMING ASSOCIATION)
The world short course swimming championships will get underway in Doha, Qatar, on Wednesday, with Israel’s five representatives hoping to make headlines for their achievements in the pool rather than anything that might happen out of it.
During last year’s world cup event in Doha, the organizers did their best to try and ignore the Israeli delegation. A blank white square appeared next to Amit Ivry’s name on the TV screens ahead of her participation in the 100-meter Individual Medley final, with the hosts refusing to broadcast the Israel flag.
The organizers of the world championships have promised there will be no recurrence of such incidents over the five-day event, which will see over 900 swimmers compete in the non-Olympic 25-meter pool.
Ivry is once more Israel’s only female representative in the championships, and is joined by Guy Barnea, Gal Nevo, David Gamburg and Ya’akov Toumarkin.
“This is certainly a cool trip,” said Barnea, who is hoping to qualify for the 50m backstroke final. “We had some concerns, but we were in Doha last year and have also twice been to Dubai. There are some fears due to the current situation, but on the other hand we see this as an ad-venture that most Israelis don’t get to experience.
There is an added significance to representing Israel in such places.”
Ivry will take part in six different events and is aiming to reach at least one final.
“I’m in pretty good form and I hope to set personal bests,” she said. “It makes no difference to me where the championships are being held. However, it feels special to represent our country in Qatar and I’m excited to do so.”